Making Habits Stick Part 3: The Next Step is to "Name"
Last week, I touched on the first step of making habits stick, which was taking a moment to notice exactly what is preventing you from succeeding. Feel free to take a moment and refer to Part 2 before moving on to Part 3. Over the past few days, I hope that you have taken the time to gather the possible culprits of distraction. Now that you have taken the time to notice, the next step is as follows: Name what exactly the issue is at hand.
It is very important to remain non-judgmental at this point. Keep it simple. Ask yourself questions that will help simplify the process.
Here is how this step would play out, using the same examples as before…
1. Your mind plays tricks on you
Once you have noticed the negative self-talk, name the fact this is a distraction that is only bringing you down. The opposite of where you would like to be. "This can no longer happen." Then ask yourself, "What would happen if I told myself the opposite of this very thought?"
2. It slips your mind
Now that you've noticed that you have a hard time remembering, name what exactly is contributing to your mind slip. "How am I able to get other important things done?, "What if I treated this habit like I would a doctor’s appointment and added it to my calendar?" What would time blocking this habit do for you?
3. You break the streak
It's time to name what exactly has gotten in the way of your consistency. The important thing to remember here isthat, "such is life". Something is going to happen again, so what would happen if you applied a little more self-compassion instead of being hard on yourself for missing a day? Would that encourage you to get back on the ball sooner?
4. You lose the passion
Name the fact that your habit may be too big! What would happen if you shrank it down a little? Making it so small that it becomes your new "normal". What if you meditate for 3 minutes instead of 5? Walked for 10 minutes instead of ran? Or, just flossed one tooth at a time?
5. Traveling, becoming sick or an emergency throws you off.
How could you set up an accountability system that will keep or put you right back on track? What would schedulingplanned breaks with the intent to start right back up once it's over do for your progress?
6. You get distracted
You have just named a pattern of always being distracted on the weekends. Who could you ask to be an accountability partner and ensure that you have completed your habit this weekend?
Step 2 brings us closer to making all of our habits stick. Today, we looked at clearly identifying what needs to be further addressed. In addition to writing down what you have noticed, do the same for the obstacles that you have just named. This practice of noticing and naming is a long but very rewarding path.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of Making Habits Stick!
"So what if you fail? At least you'll know what not to do when you try again." -Venus Williams